Teaching Accessibility in India: A Work in Progress
BITS Pilani, K. K. Birla Goa Campus
Zuarinagar, Goa, India
There are about one billion persons with disabilities (PWDs) in
the world [
]. Between 40 and 80 million of them are in India [
In 2015, the Government of India launched the Sugamya Bh
an (Accessible India Campaign), a “nation-wide Campaign
for achieving universal accessibility for PWDs”. One of its three
components, “Information and Communication Eco-System Acces-
sibility”, focuses on accessible softwares and digital artifacts. The
private industry is also increasingly emphasizing developing soft-
wares that are accessible to everyone [See, e.g.,
the CS curricula that ought to prepare the future professionals to
develop such accessible softwares hardly cover topics related to
This project is aimed at understanding the status of accessibil-
ity education in India and developing appropriate course content.
I present initial ideas, solicit feedback, and invite collaborators
through the discussion on this poster.
It is important to note that teaching accessibility (including ac-
cessibility topics in your courses) and teaching accessibly (making
your course content accessible) are two dierent things; my focus
is on the former.
(1) Understanding the challenges to accessibility integration in
CS education in India. We rst need to understand the faculty’s
preparedness for and attitude towards teaching accessibility topics.
Shinohara et al
report that very few CS faculty in the US teach
accessibility (20% of the respondents but only 2.5% of all faculty
surveyed). Moreover, most of them include accessibility topics in
specialized human-computer interaction (HCI) courses rather than
core CS courses such as Software Engineering. The numbers in India
are likely to be much lower due to various factors; for instance, a
cursory survey of CS faculty proles in the twenty “Institutes of
Eminence” in India revealed that only three have someone with
I am developing an instrument to investigate the following initial
Which institutions are teaching accessibility and in which
To what extent are CS faculty aware of digital accessibility
What courses can more readily include accessibility topics?
•What are the barriers to teaching accessibility?
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(2) Developing accessibility-themed courses and evaluating their
eects. I will teach a software engineering course with a focus on
Android app development in Fall 2021. I am currently developing
materials for this course such that accessibility will be an underlying
theme throughout the semester. I plan to include the following
four topics, observed in the literature [
], in the course learning
•Accessibility awareness—disabilities, laws, ethics;
•Technical knowledge—requirements, guidelines, testing;
•Empathy—inclusive design; and
•Potential endeavors—careers in accessibility.
I will evaluate the eects of this course on how students learned
certain software engineering concepts and their attitude towards
•Social and professional topics
Software engineering edu-
cation;•Human-centered computing →Accessibility.
Accessibility, Global Computing Education, India
ACM Reference Format:
Swaroop Joshi. 2021. Teaching Accessibility in India: A Work in Progress.
In Proceedings of the 17th ACM Conference on International Computing Edu-
cation Research (ICER 2021), August 16–19, 2021, Virtual Event, USA. ACM,
New York, NY, USA, 1 page. https://doi.org/10.1145/3446871.3469783
This work is supported by Birla Institute of Technology and Science,
Pilani, Research Initiation Grant BPGC/RIG/2020-21/04-2021/02.
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